Tuesday, July 22, 2008

En San Telmo

where they play

I have spent the last two days looking through the many images that I captured while I was in Buenos Aires. Mostly I was working at the art fair but I did have some time to sneak away a few mornings to my favorite corners of that enchanting city.

Last Sunday I spent the late morning and early afternoon strolling around San Telmo, the oldest barrio in Buenos Aires. The area is very touristy on a Sunday but there is still something so authentic about it. Mixed in with the tourists are residents of Buenos Aires performing tango, working at the cafes, selling antiques at the flea market in Plaza Dorrego or simply enjoying the beautiful sound of the tango music coming out of the many milongas on the side streets of this incredible neighborhood.

Every where you turn there is something to see. The tables at the market are filled with so many random and interesting things - from old spoons, bottles, jewelery, clothing, fine china, silks and local delicacies. When I was small my family would take me there on Sundays to see all of these things and to hear all of these sounds. I remember that I could barely reach the tables and someone was always grabbing onto my hand so that I wouldn't get lost in the crowd. As an adolescent I would go with my friends and we would hang out and drink a coffee or a beer and smoke cigarettes. No matter what age, I have always been taken by the mood of the place - the melancholy and the nostalgia, the energy of the past mixed with the spirit of the present. The place is like magic to me. On a July afternoon the winter sun makes its way through the narrow streets and casts long shadows on the cobblestone streets. I felt very small again as I walked down the roads and smelled the meat cooking in the restaurants, the sound of wine glasses clinking, the music from the performers, the sound of the dancers' tap shoes at the milongas on the second floor of the old buildings, the people haggling with the antique sellers. I can still feel that energy now even as I look over my photos.

I just love it there.

Here are some images that I captured of this place. There are many, many more to come.

History in Some Bottles

No One Wears a Hat Anymore

Portrait of a Woman at a Flea Market

His Fingers Tell Stories

esta noche volveré